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News News Articles Press Releases Mike Johnson Reproductive Rights Friday, Mar 1 2024

ICYMI: Is Destroying An Embryo Murder? House Speaker Mike Johnson Won’t Say.

Mar 01, 2024

Yesterday, the HuffPost reported on Speaker Mike Johnson — one of 125 Republican co-sponsors of a bill that attacks IVF — dodging questions about his stance. Johnson refused to answer if he agrees with the Alabama Supreme Court that an embryo is a person and that disposing of an embryo is murder.

HuffPost: Is Destroying An Embryo Murder? House Speaker Mike Johnson Won’t Say.
By Jennifer Bendery | 02/29/2024

Key Points:

  • Is a frozen embryo a child? And is destroying it murder? On Thursday, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) wouldn’t say.
  • “Look, I believe in the sanctity of every human life ― I always have ― and because of that I support IVF,” he said in his weekly press conference when asked about the issue.
  • He never actually answered the question.
  • IVF is hugely popular, with one recent poll showing more than 80% of respondents in support of fertility-related procedures. A whopping 2% of all babies born in America are the result of IVF, and 42% of adults say that they have used fertility treatments like IVF or know someone who has, per a Pew Research Center survey last year.
  • And herein lies the problem for Johnson and House Republicans: Dozens of them are co-sponsors of legislation to define “human being” to include “all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” Their bill, the Life at Conception Act, does not make exceptions for IVF.
  • In other words, Republicans have already quietly been pushing the idea that an embryo is a child and, by extension, that destroying one is akin to murder. They just weren’t expecting the Alabama case to thrust IVF into the national spotlight, and now they can’t explain how they simultaneously believe that life begins at conception and also support IVF.
  • Johnson is among 125 co-sponsors of the House bill. So are a number of vulnerable Republicans running for reelection who definitely don’t want to look like a threat to IVF in the coming months.

Published: Mar 1, 2024 | Last Modified: Mar 4, 2024

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